Love lives in creativity
Sveta Batalina |
Svetlana is a writer, a photographer, a traveller, a great lover of culture, traditions, cuisine and spiritual heritage of our world. She is also a successful business woman and co-owner of the Publishing House Kirjastus Papüürus in Estonia and a cofounder the charity project Topmanul for protecting a Pallas cat from extinction.
The photographer says: “Spiritual liaison with what I shot is the most important for me and it doesn’t matter what the object is – Michelangelo's David or sunshine falling on him, the contact is important – if the light speaks not only to you, but to the statue of David inside your heart as well, it turns out to be that there are three of you who get into the shot. And this liaison is irreplaceable, it’s impossible to repeat it and it’ll always be unique.
Photography is sacral for me, it’s an act of creation and it is what brings a human nearer to the highest point which is working in pair with the Creator”.
STREET TABERNACLES IN FLORENCE
About the book
Since Ancient Rome the tradition of placing sacred images or divine statues in niches along the streets to protect houses or travelers from evil forces has been existing in Italy. You can see the such niche in the remains of Ostia Antica. This custom survived after the adoption of Christianity and flourished in the Late Middle Ages afterwards.
In medieval Florence installation of street tabernacles was associated with the spread of the Madonna cult in the 13th century and preaching of St. Peter of Verona. Under his guidance Florentines placed sacred images of Virgin Mary on the main street corners, houses, shops and public buildings. At first these were small movable pictures, but by the end of the century famous local artists began to create large street tabernacles. Soon Florence was covered with a net of street sacred images, which not only demonstrated public devotion and protected citizens of the commune but also controlled public behaviors. And this was not only in the spiritual, but also in the literal sense, when the lamps in tabernacles illuminated streets at night and created safe urban environment.
"Street sacred images deeply touched my soul with their natural and sometimes naive religiosity. This sincere admiration aroused my interest, so I started to shoot and collect information, which resulted in this book".
About the book
"I would like to thank my husband for the idea of creating an album. Due to his patience and attention, we managed to pick from many thousands of the photos those, which you can see on the pages of the album now. I would like to express my gratitude to our wonderful friends and all those, who gave us spiritual support and also to all those, who took part in the preparation and publication of this project."
"This photo album is a summary of my longstanding travels to Tallinn, recollections of good points, which I share with you affectionately and hope that they will touch your feelings and give you several minutes of joy, beauty and maybe even happiness. At least I wish you this with all my heart and thank you for your interest in my creative work".
"In the distant nineties I came to Tallinn for the first time. It was a rainy autumn; the air was filled with Vanna Tallinn’s smell of almonds and a delicious aroma of some unknown pastry. Flaming tiled roofs gave the impression that you had just stepped into a fairy tale, and I wandered the streets of the Old Town as if they were pages of the most mysterious and magical book containing big and colourful pictures. A guide twittered about the uniqueness of each backstreet, and his stories sprang to life in our minds and hearts like spring flowers under the first warm rays of sunlight. The guide was Estonian, and the Estonians, although being a small nation (only a little more than one million people), are absolutely unique and truly fond of their country. Just imagine how deep and strong their traditions and historical roots were if they managed to preserve their culture, manners without letting it be infiltrated with other ethnic groups over a span of centuries, despite shifts of power and invasions of influential countries.
To some extent, more modern buildings within and around the old town preserve history in a capsule. Thus, street replanning was not permitted even for the purpose of traditional church positioning and erecting the Church of the Holy Ghost in accordance with cardinal directions. There used to be the oldest Tallinn’s tobacco shop on the first floor of one of the smallest houses in the old town, where one can buy souvenirs now, and even now you may make out its former owner’s emblem engraved on stone.
Everything in the old town implicitly reminds us of Estonian culture, history and traditions.
It seems that it was only yesterday when I came to Tallinn for the first time, looked at Old Thomas and Weather cock delightedly, hid myself under falling leaves with a broken umbrella from rain and dreamed of something very splendid. And despite the fact that almost 15 years have passed since I returned to the city, it still seems to me beautiful and charming, moreover, I have found new colours in Tallinn’s life, about which I could only have dreamed earlier as I dreamed of returning here. As a genuine dreamer of that time, I made a wish, which was forgotten for almost 15 years. And then as soon as I returned to Tallinn, pure delight, exaltation and a feeling of mystery overwhelmed me. On each coming to this wonderful city, I feel as if I returned to my childhood".